‘Didn’t ask us!’ Jubilee fury as butcher ‘disgusted’ by closure of market over holiday

Farage criticises councils over Jubilee bunting ban

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Rick Whitmore, from Rochdale, said he was “disgusted” with Oldham Council’s decision to partially shut Tommyfield Market in the Greater Manchester area to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The market in Oldham will close its doors to the public on Thursday and Friday, before reopening on Saturday.

But Mr Whitmore, 52, who owns a butcher shop within the complex, said the council did not consult with the business owners like himself and his partner, Nicola.

He told The Oldham Times: “The council didn’t ask us anything, all they’ve done is they’ve just gone and taken it upon themselves and shut the whole market for two days.

“They’ve not gone around with any surveys; they’ve just shut it.”

However, Oldham Council rebuffed this claim, saying the decision was agreed unanimously at a meeting with the Tommyfield Market Traders’ Association.

But Mr Whitmore insists that his business will lose around £3,500 over the two-day closure.

He added: “We’ve got seven staff, and we’ve got to pay them.

“Because we’re shut for two days, we’re going to lose our takings – which is wrong.”

A second trader at the market, speaking anonymously, commented: “The rent’s still there, isn’t it? We’re going to make no money – we’re going to be in the minuses next week.

“We’ll be losing about a grand.”

He added: “Decisions are, most of the time, made without input from the traders and whenever we do have a discussion there is always the opposite outcome – either way the traders are doomed.”

Abdulhamid Ajmid, who owns Stationery Corner, backed the decision to close on the bank holidays, adding: “It’s a good day. Make your money other times, but get a rest.”

An Oldham Council spokesperson said: “Tommyfield Market will be closed on Thursday, 2 June and Friday, 3 June, as they are always closed on Bank Holidays.

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“They will be open as normal on Saturday, 4 June and Sunday, 5 June.

“The Tommyfield Market Traders’ Association was consulted about opening on 2 and 3 June, and there was a unanimous vote for closure.

“The association recognised that trade is poor on Bank Holidays with shoppers spending time with their families.

“It was also noted that many traders welcome the opportunity to spend time with their families after usually working six days a week.”

Many of the larger supermarket chains across the country will remain open as usual across the bank holiday weekend.

Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Lidl are among those who will have normal opening hours during the celebration for most locations.

There will, however, be a number of road closures in place across the country as various areas join the festivities through Jubilee street parties.

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